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News Releases
BPA finances remain strong at halfway point - 05/10/22

Portland, Oregon – The Bonneville Power Administration reports that its positive first quarter financial performance has carried into the second quarter of 2022. BPA’s current net revenue forecast is $566 million compared to a rate case net revenue forecast of $178 million.

BPA’s forecast net revenue projection has grown $110 million over the quarter from $456 million. The growth can be mostly attributed to strong surplus power sales into a market that has not seen prices this high for several years.  

“Our financial position at our midpoint is strong,” said Administrator and CEO John Hairston. “While we have another six months to go, barring any unforeseen setbacks, all indications are that we will close out the fiscal year in a better financial position than we originally forecast.” 

The optimism is tempered by rising labor and materials costs. These pressures could slightly inflate BPA’s projected costs.  

“BPA’s continued cost discipline will make a difference as we absorb these higher costs,” said Chief Financial Officer Marcus Harris. “Rising labor and material costs continue to weigh on what is otherwise a very strong financial year.”  

The second quarter forecast for FY 2022 end-of-year reserves is strong as well, with both business lines forecast to be above the upper threshold for the reserves distribution clause. The second quarter estimate for end of year reserves for risk shows Power Services at just over $1 billion, Transmission Services at $272 million and the agency at $1.3 billion, an increase over the first quarter projection of $1.1 billion.

“Our reserves provide important liquidity to mitigate the uncertainty we face year-to-year in markets, water supply, runoff shape and the threat of unexpected weather-related costs,” said Harris. “At this point in the year, it is looking more likely that end-of-year reserves will be well above our upper reserves threshold.”

In fiscal year 2021, BPA provided a $14 million distribution of reserves to its Power customers, lowering power rates for FY 2022. BPA’s financial reserves policy states that when its financial reserves reach a certain threshold, the administrator may provide such a distribution or use for high value purposes such as providing rate relief, paying down outstanding debt or funding capital investments or other priorities. This year, end-of-year projections show a strong chance for some sort of reserves distribution for the power business line and a moderate chance for the transmission business line. 

Also, S&P, Fitch and Moody’s have issued their 2022 ratings of BPA. All three rate BPA in the “high grade” category. S&P and Fitch kept BPA’s ratings the same (S&P AA-; Fitch AA). Moody’s rating stayed the same (Aa2), but improved its outlook from stable to positive due to BPA’s borrowing authority increase and increase in reserves for risk. More information on the ratings is available at the link.

BPA’s full second quarterly business review is available at the Quarterly Business Review webpage on bpa.gov. 

About BPA

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale, carbon-free hydropower from 31 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin. It also markets the output of the region’s only nuclear plant. BPA delivers this power to more than 140 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA also owns and operates more than 15,000 circuit miles of high-voltage power lines and 261 substations, and provides transmission service to more than 300 customers. In all, BPA provides nearly a third of the power generated in the Northwest. To mitigate the impacts of the federal dams, BPA implements a fish and wildlife program that includes working with its partners to make the federal dams safer for fish passage. It also pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain safe, affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov 

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MEDIA ADVISORY - Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge Reopening Ceremony on May 7 - 05/07/22

MEDIA ADVISORY

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge Reopening Ceremony on May 7 

 

Washougal, Washington – A ceremony celebrating the completion of the largest habitat restoration project in the history of the lower Columbia River will occur on May 7, 2022, at the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has been closed to the public for the last two years for extensive habitat restoration activities to reduce flood risk, reconnect 965 acres of Columbia River floodplain, and increase recreation opportunities.    

 

What: Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge reopening and restoration ceremony 

Who: Hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership. Speakers include: 

  • Juliette Fernandez, Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Hugh Morrison, Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
  • Elaine Placido, Executive Director, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership
  • David Ripp, CEO, Port of Camas-Washougal 
  • John Hairston, Administrator, Bonneville Power Administration 
  • Kas Guillozet, Program Director, Bonneville Environmental Foundation 
  • Molly Coston, Councilor, City of Washougal
  • Caitlan Wagner, 5th grade science teacher, Helen Baller Elementary School

When: Saturday, May 7, 2022, 10 a.m. – noon (program anticipated to begin at 10:30 a.m.) 

Where: Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge  

 

Essential transportation information: To accommodate a larger than usual crowd, the Refuge parking lot will be closed. A media shuttle service available. Please contact Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky to arrange a media shuttle.  Details on the public shuttle and walking directions are here.  

 

More information about the Steigerwald Reconnection Project can be found at https://www.refuge2020.info/steigerwald-reconnection-project 

 

Funding sources for the Steigerwald Reconnection Project include the Bonneville Power Administration, Washington Department of Ecology, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bonneville Environmental Foundation. For a full list of funders and project partners visit the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership website. 

 

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BPA Joins Western Energy Imbalance Market - 05/03/22

PR 05 22                                                                    

 BPA joins Western Energy Imbalance Market

Portland, Oregon – The Bonneville Power Administration joined the Western Energy Imbalance Market today, enabling another tool for marketing surplus power from the Federal Columbia River Power System. 

“Joining the Western EIM is a monumental and meaningful step in the modernization of our operations that unlocks a range of benefits for Bonneville and our customers,” said BPA Administrator and CEO John Hairston. “As we explore additional market-based opportunities to maximize the value of our surplus power and the Northwest’s federal transmission system, we will ensure that they are consistent with our statutory authority, and further our ability to deliver affordable, reliable energy to our customers.”

Participating in this organized market will help BPA optimize surplus capacity and load service, providing operational and economic benefits for surplus power and savings on short-term purchases.

“Just like our current surplus power sales, any revenues generated by our EIM participation will help keep Bonneville power rates low,” said Hairston.

The Western EIM is a voluntary, real-time energy market that dispatches electricity from participating energy resources to balance fluctuations in power supply and demand every five minutes. New market opportunities like the Western EIM have the potential to both reduce BPA's costs through greater efficiencies and increase revenues by providing a new way to market surplus power, maximizing the capability of the existing federal transmission system

“This is a great opportunity for BPA to manage our transmission system more efficiently,” said Michelle Cathcart, vice president, BPA Transmission System Operations. “This will benefit Bonneville and its transmission customers by maximizing the value of our assets.”

The Western EIM provides an additional grid management tool by optimizing congestion relief across the entire market footprint instead of looking at only local congestion relief. It is expected to provide more precision and effectiveness in implementing intra-hour flow relief, which could reduce non-optimized curtailments. 

BPA started considering EIM participation in winter 2018. In September 2021, BPA issued a letter indicating it would join the market in spring 2022. 

“Getting to this point was a mammoth undertaking,” said Chief Operating Officer Joel Cook. “I want to thank all of our highly dedicated staff who played a role in getting us to this historic juncture.”

BPA’s participation in the EIM will provide valuable experience as the agency helps shape more elaborate day-ahead markets being considered throughout the region and beyond. While day-ahead markets offer additional upside and risk, how they would interface with grid reliability obligations and integrate with real-time markets like EIM can inform this balance of risks and opportunities. BPA has been and will continue to be an active participant in discussions about the structure and governance of these markets. 

“We will continue to monitor developments and formation of new markets,” said Mark Symonds, commercial operations director. “Any additional market participation must have the right governance structure and include operational and economic benefits for our customers.”

About BPA
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale, carbon-free hydropower from 31 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin. It also markets the output of the region’s only nuclear plant. BPA delivers this power to more than 140 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA also owns and operates more than 15,000 circuit miles of high-voltage power lines and 261 substations, and provides transmission service to more than 300 customers. In all, BPA provides nearly a third of the power generated in the Northwest. To mitigate the impacts of the federal dams, BPA implements a fish and wildlife program that includes working with its partners to make the federal dams safer for fish passage. It also pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain safe, affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov 

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Pikeminnow catches earn anglers more cash in 2022 - 04/27/22

Portland, Ore. – Substantial reward increases for the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery make it potentially more profitable for anglers participating in the 2022 season. 

 

Opening day for the northern pikeminnow sport reward season is May 1 and this year anglers will earn $6, $8 or $10 – up from $5, $6 and $8 – for each pikeminnow that is at least nine inches long. It’s the first reward increase since 2015. The more fish caught, the more each pikeminnow is worth. Specially tagged northern pikeminnow released by state fish and wildlife biologists into the Columbia and Snake rivers are each worth $200 to $500.

 

In addition to increasing reward amounts, program managers are making it easier to participate. Online registration and an app are expected to debut early in the 2022 season. 

 

“These tools will make it more convenient for people to participate, particularly those who don’t live near a pikeminnow registration station,” said Eric Winther, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Columbia River Predator Control Program project leader. “Currently, people have to drive to a station and fill out paperwork before heading out to fish. Registering online or through the app means they can go directly to the river, spend more time fishing and make one trip to the station to turn in their catch.”

 

Eighteen full-time stations will operate during the five-month season, with two to four additional satellite stations available later in the season. These satellite stations offer anglers additional pikeminnow harvest opportunities in areas with good fishing during short windows of time. Interested anglers are encouraged to get the most up-to-date information on the program website, www.pikeminnow.org, before heading out.

 

Northern pikeminnow consume millions of young salmon and steelhead each year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program have removed nearly 5 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers. The program is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission in cooperation with the Washington and Oregon departments of fish and wildlife. It has reduced predation from pikeminnow on young salmon and steelhead by approximately 40% since it began.

 

Details on how to register for the program and applicable state fishing regulations are also available on the program website. Anglers will find resources on the site, including maps, how-to videos and free fishing clinics, to help boost their fishing game.

 

For more information about the 2022 Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery visit www.pikeminnow.org, or call 800-858-9015.

 

About BPA

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale, carbon-free hydropower from 31 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin. It also markets the output of the region’s only nuclear plant. BPA delivers this power to more than 140 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA also owns and operates more than 15,000 circuit miles of high-voltage power lines and 261 substations, and provides transmission service to more than 300 customers. In all, BPA provides nearly a third of the power generated in the Northwest. To mitigate the impacts of the federal dams, BPA implements a fish and wildlife program that includes working with its partners to make the federal dams safer for fish passage. It also pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain safe, affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov  

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